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As I said on my profile, I came to Christ at a young. But, as we all know, the initial approach is only a beginning. This seems like a good spot to share some of that growth. It's a bit of a long story. So, get a cup of tea, sit back, and relax. Picture yourself with a massive jar of pennies. You want to know how much is in the jar and the only way to find out is by hand counting, one hundred pennies for every dollar. After a while your hands pick up the scent of the coins, a gross coppery smell. Now, picture that in your mouth. That's what blood tastes like. When I was ten years old, I was playing with a jar of flour. I blew into it gently, visualizing it as fairy dust. My mouth filled with blood. I ran to the sink and began spitting it out. But it was gushing faster than I could spit. My sister saw the incident and ran for our mother. Thank God, she was a nurse and could contain the bleeding with thick wads of paper towel and pressure. She sat me down and said I needn't be afraid because Christ bled too. Once I calmed down we piled into the car and headed for the ER. But they could find nothing wrong and the bleeding had stopped. Though the evidence of it was all over my shirt. They sent us home. Mom wasn't satisfied and who better to turn to than the creator of the human body? After some prayer, God told her to call my dentist. She explained what happened and they told her to bring me in if it happened again. A week later it did and we went to the dentist. Thank God, he referred us to an oral surgeon instead of making careless assumptions. The surgeon we saw was delighted because he had just put down the latest book on my condition that very day. Arterial Venus Malformation. I'll keep the explanation brief. It's an aneurism (an over sized blood vessel) in my right jaw. For over a decade after, we took six trips down to Boston and six hours back. Sometimes it was for surgery, other times it was just appointments for discussing procedures. This was something I was born with and I knew the Lord had his reasons. But, I won't deny a hot vein of anger that surged. Why was I on this never ending carousel? Why was it this hard? What was this grander purpose behind my woes? During one of my many times at Mass General hospital, we were in the waiting room when an older woman asked mom how the bedside cots were. It turns out, she and her daughter were seeing the same doctor for a similar issue. We were later placed in the same room. I was wearing an ice pack and felt the usual drowsiness. Yet, you can't imagine how hard it is to sleep on that hard mattress with the constant beeping of monitors. On top of that, you have a lovely nurse coming in every hour to say, "Can I check your vitals, honey?" Anyway, the older woman told her daughter that she was going down for coffee and the girl pleaded desperately, "No mom, please don't leave me alone." Instantly, my prayer was answered as I remembered a time when I was the one pleading for my mom not to go, even for just a minute. I felt moved to speak and called out to them on the other side of the curtain. "I know that this hard right now, but it'll be ok." I then told her about how the mouth is one of the spots in the body that heals fastest. Or something like that. Afterward, I sat back and just like the ripples on a lake, I could see a little of what my journey did for those around me. That girl was a little less scared. I remembered the doctor from Israel who thanked me for letting him examine my case and how helpful the information would be in his own country. There was one nurse who changed her entire career path based on my case. I remembered the cross made of popsicle sticks that I gave my doctor and how he said, "I could've used this three years ago." Those were just the instances I knew about. What about all the others I didn't know about? How far did those ripples extend? What other shores did they touch? What would I lose if all of it had never happened? I don't have all the answers, but I'm in touch with the one who does and, even when I don't comprehend, I can know that He is working. Some day, it'll be rolled out in full and I'll marvel at His wonders. "Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live." Psalm 116:2